Shouldn't Al Qaeda have a new Number 1?

I was surprised by this report to find that we’re still killing Al Qaeda second-in-commands. That’s seems so 2007. I thought Obama had taken it up a notch when he killed bin Laden and from now on we’d be going after the top man.

I didn’t know who that guy was exactly. But I assumed one of those Number Two men that were running around everywhere would step up after bin Laden was dead and become the new Number One. And then we’d kill him. It would be a win for everyone, even the guy we killed. Because he would have gone out on top rather than just being killed as another second-in-command.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, google is your friend.

And I suppose you looked at your calendar and confirmed that it is, in fact, 2012 and not 2007 as I claimed.

Irony is a foreign language to you, isn’t it?

Seriously has anyone actually kept track of how many Al qaeda number 2’s we’ve offed so far? cause I’m fairly confident it’s comfortably in the double digits by now.

I had always just assumed we were defining them as “Number 2” because we think of Osama as #1, even though he’s dead.

Then again, might it be good PR to have a fake #1? The U.S. could never find him, so it would always look like Al Qaeda is one-upping us.

a) its like mcdonalds - they are all ‘managers in training’

b) from a battle standpoint, #1 might set the ideas and directions, its the #2’s that carry them out and get the orders to the cells - I assume that we are still finding/neutralizing cells and simply don’t report that as often.

You are Number Six.

Al-Q has a PR strategy? You don’t say…

Start at least with finding an independent source of anything related to Al-Q first.

2 things:
1 - for all we know, there may actually be a #1 now, and they’re going after him, but they just haven’t announced who he is yet.
2 - if the al-Qaeda fight has a successful endgame, then successfully prosecuting it should mean that nobody is stepping up to the #1 position, then nobody is stepping up to the #2 position, and eventually we’re left with a bunch of nobodies.
OR, scenario 2B, some of those #2’s become #1’s of their own splinter cells, in which case it would really be prudent to describe them as al-Qaeda has-beens rather than some new up-and-coming thing.

#1, I order you to go take a #2.

Said in Maxwell Smart’s voice it’s even funnier.

Number two has got to work for someone, after all.

#2 tries harder.

#2! Take a number!

Who does #2 work for!?

Not surprised half of al-Qaeda seems to be #2, they’re certainly little pieces of…

Okay, seriously, emacknight is right. Ayman al-Zawahiri became the leader of Al Qaeda after bin Laden was killed.

I was just making a joke about how every moderately high-ranking Al Qaeda figure who is killed seems to get described as the second-in-command.

When I hear that the US killed the #2 in command for Al Qaeda, I hear that they hit a relatively high target, not necessarily the VP or anything like it.

The numerous levels of secrecy between finding a target and it being reported on the news can be staggering.

We hear what has been cleared, and to some degree that’s by necessity.

There may well be a new #1 but putting that on CNN doesn’t help in catching or killing him. Report that after the fact. Odds are nobody in the general public knows who the new #1 is, nor should they care. We’ve been whittling down that organization for quite a few years now, soon they’re gonna have the noobs in charge, and that won’t go well.

I’m not saying they do. That was just the way I intrinsically thought of it until this thread brought it up. It didn’t dawn on me that maybe these people were just local leaders who claimed higher status that they had, or that the media was overhyping every higher up as a #2.

I just really hadn’t stopped to think about it. I’m not really an avid newswatcher, so I really just saw these things in passing while I was reading something else.

checks thread date to make sure this isn’t a zombie from 2005, before exclaiming

Really? This joke,* now*?